This thread is something I have wanted to do for awhile. After over 50 years in active anesthesia practice and after a recent serious hospitalization requiring the attention and care of critical care nurses, I have some thoughts about a recurring topic on this site--how much and what kind of experience is necessary to become a CRNA?
It was interesting to note that just about all of the critical care nurses in the hospital where I was a patient, expressed an interest in becoming a CRNA. Of all of them (probably over 25), there was only one who I believe would be a good candidate for our profession. She has done her homework, has talked to program directors at several schools, and is committed to getting as much experience as she can before applying. She also had excellent assessment skills that she was able to translate to care.
While I am uncomfortable writing this, but most of the others talked about money as soon as they found out I was a CRNA. (someone posted it on top of my chart). They were looking for shortcuts to the profession, but most of all they were protocol and guideline nurses. Maybe that is what is required today to be a critical care nurse, but I personally believe that in anesthesia, one has to be able to pull information out of their head in a second and be able to apply it to the clinical situation in another split second. There is not a protocol for independent thinking.
Those of you who want to be a CRNA, should attempt to get as much experience as you can and work on your critical thinking and independent application of facts skills. I hope admissions committees of programs can figure out a way to assess these skills.